Mystery Fortune 250 company could move to Denver; state approves $27M in tax incentives

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DENVER — An unnamed Fortune 250 company could be moving its headquarters to Denver. The Colorado Economic Development Commission just approved $27 million tax incentive credits to encourage the company to move here. The only problem is we don’t know which company it is.

On the commission’s recent agenda, the deal was dubbed ‘Project Cardinal’ and it’s the second-largest tax incentive package the state has ever offered to a company.

The $27 million in tax credits would be spread out over an eight-year period. That number was calculated using a formula that takes several factors into account, like the number of jobs the company could bring and how well-paying those jobs would be.

In this company’s case, there would be 800 new jobs with an average salary of $185,721. That’s 279 percent higher than Denver’s average wage.

In order to qualify for one of these job growth incentive tax credits, companies must prove that they are financially healthy and in good standing. They must bring in new jobs that offer 100 percent of the average annual wage or better for the area. Also, Colorado must be competing with other states to get the company’s business.

Of the $27 million in tax credits, the commission says $13 million would be transferable, meaning they could be sold to interested buyers.

However, the mystery company would be given the tax break right away. It would have to submit documents to the state as a proof of performance to show it’s living up to its promises.

So what’s with all the secrecy? The commission says it’s twofold: First, the commission wants to leave it up to the company to announce the potential move to its employees in its own way. Second, the commission says that because this is a publicly-traded company, any indication that it might move operations could affect trading.

Right now, Colorado is competing with one other state, which has not been disclosed, for this Fortune 250 company’s headquarters.

The company has until Nov. 8 to decide whether it wants to accept the deal, otherwise the commission will move on to other opportunities.

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